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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Reports of ‘clean chit’ to officer involved in ‘human shield’ incident speculative: Army

india Updated: May 23, 2017 15:28 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar

The army has denied news reports suggesting that it has given a clean chit to the officer who tied a Kashmiri man to the bonnet of a jeep as a “human shield”.

The said news has triggered outrage in Kashmir with separatists saying it was on “expected lines from an oppressor”.

“The Court of Inquiry (CoI) concerned with the incident wherein a civilian was tied to an army jeep is still incomplete. Reports in some sections of the media suggesting that army Major has being given a clean chit are speculative,” said army’s Srinagar-based spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia.

On April 14, a video had surfaced on the social media wherein a young Kashmiri man was seen tied to an army jeep, allegedly as a human shield against stonepelters. In the said video, announcements of people being warned that “this will be the fate of stonepelters” can also be heard in the background.

The incident had prompted widespread anger in the Valley and had elicited condemnations from the world over. Meanwhile, there were also those who defended the officer.

Following the outrage, the army had ordered a Court of Inquiry after an FIR was filed by the J&K Police.

On Monday, a media publication, quoting sources, reported that the inquiry has given a clean chit to the officer in question. It said that contrary to the hue and cry generated by the video on social media, “senior army officers had appreciated the presence of mind of the officer to avoid casualties or injuries”.

Moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq promptly reacted to the development. The All Party Hurriyat Conference in a statement said, “The result of the so-called inquiry comes as no surprise to the people of Kashmir as it was well along the expected lines from the oppressors.”

“What gives (the Kashmiri) people the strength and resilience to stand up against all forms of repressions, is their firm belief in the justness of their aspirations and the faith in the fairness of their struggle. Ultimately truth and justice always prevail,” the organisation’s spokesman said.

First Published: May 15, 2017 21:20 IST

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